||Lewis Environmental Services, Inc., Tampa, FL.;Tampa Bay National Estuary Program, St. Petersburg, FL.;Department of Environmental Management, Clearwater, FL.
Exotic vegetation, especially Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), poses a great economic and environmental threat to the state of Florida. Brazilian pepper, which is native to Brazil and Paraguay, was introduced into the United States in the 1890's as an ornamental landscaping shrub. Several types of control are being developed or are in use. The control of peppers through the use of insects (biological control) is currently being researched. Physical removal is practical when employed concurrently with herbicide treatment on large tracts of land where peppers have formed a monoculture. Physical control is the use of fire to control peppers. This method is useful only for seedlings, not for mature trees because of the ability of large individuals to resprout. The use of herbicides (chemical control) is most common and cost-effective method employed to date for the control of Brazilian peppers.